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The Electric Family - Mariopaint [ird055]


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The Electric Family is a supergroup that comes together to execute brief driven recording projects. For this, the first set of Electric Family releases, the brief was to compose a 5 minute piece using only the Nintendo Super Famicom game console, running the Mariopaint cartridge. Mariopaint is, as you would suspect, a paint program. It also has a triphonic sequencer that allows you to compose music on a stave.

Modern recording studios, and even those found in the bedrooms of musicians the world over are full of equipment that affords the composer a huge range of sonic possibilities. A single synthesizer / sequencer combination of today can contain an almost inexhaustible palette of polyphony, textures and rhythms to discover. Mariopaint strips all of that away, and deliberately puts the artists in a straightjacket.

Each of the contributing artists was allowed only one audio effect, and each piece was recorded directly onto master tape. Editing with a razorblade was also made available. The results are proof that "less is more", as each artists personality was forced to express itself by the limitations imposed by the restrictive brief. This is an inspirational project and release. The tool used to create it can be deceptive since it is a cartridge for children; this is the most serious of projects, experimentally addressing a real world problem that is plaguing studios and methods of recording. The results are entertaining, breathtaking, surprising and memorable.


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